Co-option process conducted lawfully says council

Honiton Town Council has defended the way it conducted a co-option process that saw just two of five candidates fill vacancies on the authority.

Michelle Pollington and Ray Hanratty were voted onto the authority following a ballot of serving councillors.

Three other candidates were not selected, leaving a total of four vacancies unfilled and a fifth that is due to be filled via a by-election in September.

In a statement, the council said it would “like to make it very clear that the process was conducted both lawfully and according to the rules laid down in various acts of parliament”.

It issued the statement in response to derogatory comments made on social media following the vote.

The statement continued: “The four co-option vacancies will be re-advertised in due course and there is every likelihood that there will be an election caused by a resignation in May,” the statement continued.

“This election is likely to take place in September and the council would like to encourage people to put their names forward for election on to the town council.”

Referring to the successful candidates, who were co-opted onto the authority at a meeting on Monday night, the council said: “It is hoped that their experience, enthusiasm and willingness to work with the other members will result in some positive projects being delivered in the next four years.”

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